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Daily news with a European perspective. Presented from the Deutsch Welle studios in Berlin.

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U.s. 7, Tokyo 7, Manila 7, Phillipines 6, China 6, Moscow 4, Nhk 4, Obama 2, Catherine Kobayashi 2, Benedict 2, Ramin 2, Vatican 2, Asia 2, Us 2, Mississippi 2, Newsline 2, Beijing 2, Taiwan 2, New York 2, Ramin Mellegard 1,
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  KCSMMHZ    Journal    Daily news with a European  perspective.   
   Presented from the Deutsch Welle studios in Berlin.  

    February 11, 2013
    5:30 - 6:00pm PST  

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glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's day, february 12. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. millions of roman catholics around the world are coming to terms with an announcement from their spiritual leader that's both surprising and rare. pope benedict xvi says he's too old to do his job and is stepping down at the end of the month. he is 85. spokespersons for the vatican said the pope cited his advancing age and felt he could
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no longer fulfill his responsibilities. german cardinal yosef razinger was 75 years old when he became pope following the death of pope john paul ii. benedict xvi was a conservative pope. he strongly worked for his control. he faced the generation and joined twitter last year. he took his turn on handling sexual abuse scandals to an investigation of money launderring in the vatican city. he accused his butler of stealing and leaking documents that pointed to corruption in the vatican. the pope pardoned him over christmas. it's rare for a pope to resign. pope benedict is the first to quit in nearly 600 years. senior members of the catholic church will now start planning
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their conclave, the meeting they hold to choose a successor. leaders around the world are reacting to the resignation. she had the highest respect for the pope's decision. >> translator: pope benedict xvi is and will continue to be one of the most important religious thinkers of the age. >> u.s. president barack obama extended thanks and prayers to the pope. obama said he appreciated their work together over the last four years and hoped a successor will be chosen smoothly. the president said he has warm memories of meeting the pontiff in 2009. it drew attention because of the men's differing views on abortion rights. obama told the pope he would do everything he could to reduce the number of a borgsz in the united states.
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shin pom praised the pope on issues such as poverty, hunger, human rights and the peace. pom said he hoped the wisdom demonstrated by the pope will be a legacy on which to build further dialogue and tolerance. u.s. government officials are taking sides in a dispute in a potentially dangerous situation at sea involving chinese and japanese forces. they're backing tokyo who alleged they lost their weapons radar on a self-defense destroyer. >> with regard to the incident, we were briefed by our japanese allies on the incident, and we've satisfied ourselves that it does appear to have happened. >> japanese officials say the chinese frigate launched its weapons on the maritime defense in the east china sea. government representatives in beijing denied the allegation. they argued the vessel used
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navigational radar and not fire control radar. the ships were navigating more than 100 kilometres north of the disputed senkaku islands on january 30th. japan controls the territory. china and taiwan claim it. former u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton said last month the obama administration opposes any unilateral action to undermine japan's control of the islands. her successor, john kerry, supports that position. now, u.s. leaders have expressed concern about an escalation in china's activities around the disputed islands, including a recent violation of japanese air space by chinese aircraft. european authorities are investigating several firms in connection with a meat labeling scandal. food safety regulators are looking into the possibility someone deliberately switched beef for horse meat because it's cheaper to produce. officials in britain and ireland studied frozen lasagnes and
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hamburgers sold this year in supermarkets. the british regulators found 60% of the meat used in lasagne was from horses, but the products were labeled as 100% beef. they recalled them after tests confirmed they contained horse meat. a french company produced the lasagnes using meat from romaine yann slaughter houses. they want those responsible for selling horse meat as beef to face harsh punishment. people in india will soon be able to zip across the country on high-speed railways, and japanese transport authorities hope they'll be riding japan-made bullet trains or shinkansen. officials from japan's transport ministry and rail company executives pitched their idea to the city of amadinobad. they stressed the safety record.
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>> translator: this is a good opportunity to tell people of the safety and stability of shin kansen. >> they are expected to link mabudinobad and mumbai. japan is competing with france, china and other countries to land the contract. japanese investors are getting back to business after a three-day weekend. we're joined now with what's going on in the markets and other business stories. how are they starting their week? >> it looks like the currency traders will be the busiest this morning because the yen dropped sharply after the dollar in new york after an official expressed her support for japan's monetary easing policy. the dollar rose to 94.46 against
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the yen at 1 point on monday. that's the highest level in two years and nine months. the dollar spiked after investors learned u.s. secretary treasu treasurer said the u.s. ends its violation. the dollar is currently at 94.16 to 18. the dollar has been getting the boost since last autumn, and we saw the yen slip even further against the dollar this morning. for more on how stocks are trading here, we go to ramin mellegard who is at the tokyo stock exchange. so ramin, we're back from our holiday, and are we seeing any positive effects of the yen's move? >> back from the holidays, yuko, and we're definitely seeing the effects of that weaker yen, which is playing into stock markets. let's have a look at the opening levels here, and you can see exactly what i'm talking about. very strong gains here at the open. up 2.3% for the nikkei, and now
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it's 11,410, and the topix is at 974. you can see there the weaker yen continues to boost the nikkei and topix. let's not forget the nikkei closed last week on a negative note, just rising 400 points last week. investors really took some profits off that surge. we've seen some rise in the union stocks because of some recent highs we've set for indexes as well. however, folks remain worried about the weaker yen, and it may be a topic of the upcoming g-20 meeting due this week in moscow. that's going to be a big focus also for financial markets. now, further easing measures and the prospect of a new bank of japan governor who is open to the government's aggressive stance on a deflation and a
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weaker yen should keep the momentum going, which we're pretty much seeing right now as we are ticking off this trading day, this tuesday as well. asian markets may not provide too much direction as we do have a lot of the chinese markets closed for lunar new year holiday. not much direction from there, but we're definitely getting direction from currencies. yuko? >> it looks like a squeezing momentum. how are the currencies trading this morning, ramin? >> let's have another look at the pairs there. we did look at the dollar/yen, but let's bring that up again as well as the euro/yen. dollar/yen, 94.13 and you're owe/yen 126.19 to 22. the current markets are really favoring the weaker yen, and that's going to be favorable for some of the key exporters which have been rising quite a lot over the past couple of weeks. now, with the g-20 meeting coming up this week, we may see,
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however, currency levels trading in a bit of a range. the weaker yen there obviously a hot topic not only for exporters but for other countries as well looking at japan's economy. so that's going to be a big focus. we'll keep track of how all of that affects stocks today. back to you, yuko. >> thanks, ramin. ramin mellegard at the tokyo stock exchange. japan's fiscal policies are likely to be the key focus at the g20. taro aso and masaaki shirakawa will attend the meeting on friday. it will be the first conference to discuss the global economy since abe was elected late last year. many have appreciated the government's bold energy policy and the spending it's carrying out in order to revive the japanese economy. but german chancellor has expressed concern over a
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currency manipulation, specifically mentioning japan. japanese business leaders are scanning the map of asia in search of new opportunities. the phillipines is attracting their attention. the country has one of the highest growth rates in southeast asia, and its labor costs remain low compared to china. but another key factor is pushing businesses to set up shop there. nhk world's kathleen kosha reports. >> reporter: the people in the phillipines used to enjoy robust growth. the rise in middle class is boosting consumption. this day has attracted some of the world's best known brands. they opened their own store last year in manila. >> translator: we're hoping to operate about 50 stores in the phillipines within three years.
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>> other japanese manufacturers have chosen the phillipines to replicate some of their factories. this industrial complex is located south of manila. over the past 18 months, seven japanese companies have chosen to set up new production units here. >> translator: we are facing a wave of investment. >> toy maker bandai is among the n newcomers. the company produces the bulk of its products in china. but higher costs pushed it to look for an alternative. five years ago, the minimum wage in manila was higher than in shanghai or jakarta. but that changed when the minimum wage was raised in other countries. when managers see comparatively
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cheap labor in the phillipines, it played a major role in their decision to relocate. >> translator: the population in the phillipines is steadily growing, so there won't be any concerns about labor for many decades. >> another advantage of the phillipines is the use of english as an official language. this factory is home of the electronics giant, toshiba. managers are able to give direct instructions to their local employees without relying on an interpreter. >> translator: i speak in simple english. that's good enough to teach them. >> some companies are going beyond the simple replication of
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factories. this shipping company employs hundreds of people at its office in manila. their job is to prepare documents in english certifying the contents of container ships across the world. each team is in charge of a particular country. the company began these operations in the phillipines seven years ago. every month, the manila office handles more than 60,000 documents for 24 countries. >> translator: cutting costs is our top priority. the phillipines is becoming our main base for administrators of work. >> the phillipines used to be nicknamed the sick man of asia because of its political instability. but the rising middle class and the prevalence of english has turned it into a prime
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destination for foreign investments, at least for now. nhk world, manila. time now for a quick look at what's happening on the global economic scene this week. on thursday japan will release its gdp data for the october-december period. gdp shrank between july and september by 3.9%. on thursday, the the bank of japan will make a policy decision. they will see if it will ease monetary policy. they have set up a 2% inflation target. the euro gdp will come out on thursday also. on friday we'll find out how u.s. manufacturers did in january when the industrial production index is released. also on friday, g20 ministers and central bank governors will get together in moscow. that is all for me for now. i'll leave you with the market
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figures. many russians are skeptical of what they see on television. tight media controls and censorship means the criticism of the government is rare. one station is trying to regain viewers' trust by turning to the internet. nhk world has the view from
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moscow. >> a leader in control advising a judo team or saving cranes. a russian reporter is trying to save the cranes. >> putin took power in 2000. since then he has steadily increased government control of the media. it started with intimidation.
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they were paid a visit by security authorities. later station owners were arrested. in recent years, the government has taken outright control by buying up shares in the companies. but not all independent voices have been silenced. both tv and internet stations turned up in 2010. those were a different take from other channels. here's one example. an anti-putin demonstration in november as shown by a television station. the report lasts one minute. it says the protesters dispersed immediately upon orders by police. a large demonstration under
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heavy police security. the protest lasted into the night and so did the news coverage. the owner is 41 years old. after many years of parading the radio station, she decided to turn over the channels to reach a large audience. >> translator: we report on what we think are important, not copying what others are doing. we don't have anything to be afraid of because we are not doing anything illegal. >> the web station is popular with young people, especially in urban areas. it's news coverage that attracts positive feedback on the site. and from the wider public, in
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2011, the russian television acade academy was named the station of the year. at the end of last year, she took on a new challenge. she attempted to get a license for a broadcast. she wants to reach people in areas where internet services are not available. the government resijected her application. she says she will not give up. >> translator: i want russia to be truly free and democratic. i hope watching our broadcast will encourage people to work for a better society. >> with little income from advertisers, she is still not turning a profit. but she is determined to keep going. she says freedom of speech is at stake. nhk world, moscow.
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monday marks a month before the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated japan. thousands of people are still missing and authorities haven't given up looking for them. about 100 officers combed areas of the worst hit prefecture. they prayed for victims before beginning their searches. police officers and local officials searched uninhabited islands. they found some last november on another uninhabited island. >> translator: we are working hard to find victims, or at least the remains to return to their families. >> japan coast guard officers, firefighters and volunteers looked for bodies in ewata prefecture. police say more than 1300 people are still missing in miyagi
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prefecture and nearly 1200 in ewata. students from the south pacific have traveled to northeastern japan to learn how to better prepare for natural disasters. 18 students visited miyako. they took them to see a 2,000-metre-long breakwater. she told them how the coastal barrier was supposed to protect structures, but the water went over it and flooded homes and businesses. she said she was thankful tsunami's escape route had hand rails. she urged the group to always be ready for natural disasters in order to save lives. one in the group said they could be hit by a tsunami, but people there are less prepared.
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>> i believe now this group will go back and tell them how important it is. >> the foreign ministry has been inviting students from abroad to japan to help them learn lessons from the 2011 disaster. the program began last april. about 2,000 young people from around the world have visited ewata since then. time now to get a check on the weather. people in southeastern areas of the united states are experiencing severe weather conditions. our meteorologist gives us the latest. >> well, catherine, on sunday severe weather affected the southeastern u.s. triggering flooding rains, damaging winds and even 15 tornadoes. let me show you the situation in mississippi. this amazing footage shows a large tornado churning through a town in mississippi. a swarm of tornadoes tore through several counties in southern mississippi and alabama on sunday. at least ten people were hurt and hundreds of homes were ripped apart.
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meteorologists say one of the tornadoes reached 1.6 kilometres in diameter. power outages were a wide threat. now, the peak of severe weather is over. however, ample moisture continues to flow from the gulf of mexico so flooding rain will remain for the next several hours. up to 50 millimetres of rain is likely in the next 24 hours. the ground is already well soaked so further flooding is highly likely. up towards the north, we have our winter storm over eastern canada. this system produced staggering snow in the northeast on friday and saturday. new york's central park received about 30 centimetres of snow. over 100 centimetres for parts of connecticut. conditions have improved across the middle part of the atlantic region, however, stormy conditions will remain in eastern canada as well as new england. up to 130 kilometres for augusta also will be a concern.
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concerns across the four corners region. snow and windy conditions will then move across oklahoma and northwestern texas within the next 24 hours. up towards the west, wet and windy in british of columbia. temperatures are not doing too badly in many locations, but the exception is going to be oklahoma city. only 2 degrees. that's about 10 degrees cooler than seasonal. looking at 6 degrees in new york city. some snow showers will return on wednesday here. in europe, we can see rotating clouds right here and heavy snow showers across the mountains and heavy rain showers in the coast allocations in italy as well as the western balkan peninsula. the nasty weather here will continue throughout tuesday. low temperatures continue. only 3 degrees in london and 6 degrees in paris. finally, in east asia, we are seeing thunderstorms and heavy rain for the southern islands of japan as well as taiwan. this system is going to be a
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very problematic one as it heads toward the east. it's going to drag cooler air from the north and bring some precipitation for japan, so low temperatures and humidity, meaning that snow showers are likely, particularly in central japan. even metro tokyo will see some snow showers from tonight into wednesday morning. out towards the west looking dry across much of china, but scattered showers for the phillipines today. your highs cooler than seasonal in tokyo, 7 degrees. 2 degrees in beijing and down towards the south, 33 degrees in bangkok and 32 in manila. that's it for now. up next is your ththe-day outlook.
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and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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